Rappler and oblivion

I’ve tried to make sense of its business plan. Now and then they produce good work. The problem is in the in-between.

Click-bait for ads won’t work. Advertisers can monitor effectiveness.

Leading thoughts and brilliant conversation won’t either. They just leave you dangling, if you ask Simon and G.

Wannabe journalism cum political correctness is too a dead end. That would be too much on feelership. And also trying hard to mimic Huffington.

Can Rappler be a kinda FB for the in crowd? Not if it has to hang on FB to skate. The in-crowds can exist within FB as it is.

Could it be a pay-for-play version of Linked-In? For the PH market? Who will pay? Too thin.

Maybe some b-school type a la McKinsey is giving its investors advice. Only they’re not talking. If you had an undiscovered gold mine, would you?

I don’t know and know that I don’t. Maybe if they know, then they’d know. And I wouldn’t have to ask.

If only it could go to IPO, at least the early birds could do a ponzi dance. Good luck.

The shrinks might say cycling between bargaining and acceptance can take forever. But sooner not later the potato chips run out.

It is a puzzle.

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The baskerville files

A good mystery is hard to find.  Just a screenshot.

UPDATE: (as of June 25, 2012)

A story on rappler.com (dated June 3, updated June 18, 2012) gives some details about the board members of Rappler.  This seems to suggest that rappler is a corporation.  It appears, but is not quite clear from the story, that the shareholders are either the corporate entities of Newsbreak, Hatchd, and Dolphin Fire, or their principals.

Hatchd, in its website, acknowledges that it is “the business and technology arm” to Rappler.  It has an office in the Philippines, and appears to sell advertising packages that appear at the Rappler site.

There was a story in March this year, also by Rappler, that the businessman, Manuel Pangilinan, was interested in acquiring a “very small” stake in Rappler.

Star wars log – seldom wrong, always right, but a doozy

Or maybe a bit of Looney Tunes.

Does Teddy Boy (TB) make sense? Here’s my two pesos’ worth:

However you look at it, TB argues Tu Quoque. In effect, if you get caught, it should be OK to get acquitted because allegedly everyone else does it. As a rule, Tu Quoque cannot fly because it is a recipe for taking the law into one’s unclean hands.

But TB claims to argue Equal Protection, supposedly because laws should apply equally to all. In fact, the Senate followed Equal Protection because it meted out dismissal on that clear precedent of a court clerk who failed to declare a sari-sari store. Ms. Flores, dismissed for her SALN misfeasance, has become a celebrity poster girl for justice for the little guy.

What TB really wants is an even broader net to be cast, which is fair. But neither mandamus nor injunction can control how the Executive enforces the laws (because the matter is a political question). That’s life, TB, even if it seems unfair. As Sen. Marcos has said on tv, ‘ang pikon, talo.’

TB’s remedy, if any, is to claim ‘grave abuse’; not so easy after the Senate President put a proper ziplock (Ted Te’s word) on the process and due deliberation by the Senate. The sole question on certiorari is limited to whether the Senate was ‘whimsical.’

The SC cannot find reversible error because the Constitution does not carve in an appellate jurisdiction for the SC in an impeachment case. (Theoretically, Congress can add or expand the SC jurisdiction, but can do so only through legislation; not through a ‘mistake’ by the Senate.)

But as always. Let’s take our grain of substitute salt. TB is seldom wrong, always right. Right.

Star wars log – WIKI

WIKI stands for ‘what I know is.’

It is at one level very private and personal, but when given out it is meant to be honest. A self-serving statement crafted by a PR firm is not a wiki. Neither are the little white lies of daily life. Honesty means keeping ‘is’ as is, and not letting a wiki segue into ‘what I wish’ or ‘what I want others to think.’

It can cover secrets, and even mutual secrets, as when people trade wikis. But this may well mean that many wikis are best kept to oneself.

A witness on the stand gives out his wiki, especially when he makes admissions. A lawyer does not deal with wikis, except when he cites law and jurisprudence, but his wiki here is selective because he chooses wikis that help his client. A judge is then required to sort out the ‘biased’ wikis of opposing counsels.

Your wiki matters a lot more than what other people think. In that sense, you are your wiki.

Show dogs

This is literally a pet peeve.

Don’t get me wrong – I like dogs. But I just realized that the tv industry knows something about us humans: We’re fascinated by dogs, especially if you’re a dog person. If you’re not, still, dogs scare you, and tv being tv, that ‘scare’ is not for real and more like a horror thrill. The point is simple: tv cannot show dogs all the time – that would be boring. What’s the better or best thing? Show people who act like dogs! Tv thus shows us folks who attack when they think you’re scared. Tv also shows us those who show extreme loyalty, dogs being the proverbial man’s best friend.

The impeachment teleserye is a case in point. Just about everyone in it is a dog – metaphorically anyway. No? And because of this ‘doggy’ phenomenon, we sit mesmerized, even when the matter is already terminally boring. Another case in point is a sports show peopled by three puppy wanna-bees.

What can I say? Everyday of the teleserye, you can have your choice – the lovable of the day, as well as the ‘real’ dog of the day. Some days, the same (and often inane) personalities get to hog the dog show. Whatever happened to Miss Piggy and Kermit?

The last Cassandra and the French Revolution

Mr. Amando Doronila may well be the last Cassandra in the mini-drama of today’s Philippine politics. He believes that the President has “narrow political objectives” in unpacking a packed Supreme Court, and implicitly that the “daang matuwid” is not so straight after all. He warns that people power of the EDSA I model cannot be used “to bail us out of a constitutional crisis.”

But is Mr. Doronila in the right? Or is he pleading for an old corrupt order?

He may well be right about the “packing” of the Supreme Court by the previous President to favor herself in future controversies. One can argue endlessly that such packing might have been avoided if Supreme Court justices were required to obtain Congressional approval as under previous constitutions. But this is a matter for constitutional amendment.

What may be bothersome are the twin substantive premises of Mr. Doronila’s argument.

One is that there is today a “constitutional crisis.” He calls it “the fiercest confrontation yet between the presidency and the judiciary in the political sector since the founding of the republic.”

Is it? A “crisis” might well have arisen when the Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Department of Justice (DOJ), but such a crisis would have been one where the Executive might have told the Court to man the immigration counter at the airport and take responsibility and “honors” for granting Mrs. Arroyo her constitutional right to travel. Instead, the DOJ read out the Due Process rulebook, arguing that notice through the media is legally insufficient, and (somewhat belatedly) that compliance with conditions in the TRO be duly certified. The DOJ had and still has a point: if a TRO makes the main issue moot, such a TRO itself violates Due Process. In short, there can be no crisis when the matter is not in the black and white with which Mr. Doronila paints.

But where the Executive and the Judiciary do not see eye to eye is no crisis. It is part of Checks and Balances. It is part of the political and national conversation on matters of public interest. It is ordinary.

Mr. Doronila’s other premise is that there is a grand design to upend the constitution through mob rule. He considers a scenario (an “option”) where the President and his supporters would “harness the streets to storm the high court and drag out Corona and other suspected pro-Arroyo justices with another ‘people power’ show of force.”

Is Mr. Doronila serious? With the Arab and Russian springs, as well as the Occupy Wall Street Movement, what is happening is that ordinary people want their voices heard but obviously not to the extent of the chaos of the mob rule of the French Revolution of the eighteenth century. If anything, this newer version of people power is as genteel as a grandmother who has just learned to tweet.

What seems clear from reading Mr. Doronila’s “piece” is that he draws a straw man (“mob rule”) so that he can argue for the Rule of Law, even if what we have is a rule of law that does not produce Justice. No one has a monopoly on how to define Justice, which is why we have political discourse. Mr. Doronila’s brand of justice favors the rich and formerly powerful but not those whose rights have been ignored. Surely, those who suffered the inanity of the previous Administration have a right to seeth. That is why Mr. Doronila’s piece rankles.